Before we can catch up, I need to catch you up on what you've been missing. Last weekend in Belgium.
So Belgium has the two language deal, French and Dutch. Sorry to all of you Dutch and Dutch speakers out there... French is prettier and easier! Anyway... Belgium is a bilingual country... why, that it is beyond me but whatever. The South is French speaking and the North is Dutch. Belgium, although in the North, is a bilingual city.
This Saturday, however, was Mrs. Malone's birthday and the day that we all went to Gent. They had never been and they were kind enough to bring me along. It is about a 45 minute drive from Brussels.
So side note. I am loving travelling with my friends. I am having a great time, it's great, yeah! But so many times, I just miss travelling with my family. Because they are the people who I have been going places with my whole life! So I'll see something and think, "oh, my dad would like this," or "What a cool tree, Milds would like that." And so on. So going to Gent with the Malone's was almost like traveling with my family. It was a nice substitute and really cool and made me feel at home.
So Saturday morning we headed out. Shocking, the weather wasn't the best. But it does make everything green which is really cool. This is a picture of the EU, shoot, something EU. It's not the parliament but it's another one of their governing bodies. It's a really ugly building. It was built fairly recently, and I thought it was still under construction. Nope, that's what it is supposed to look like!
Cannot for the life of me remember what this is..... oh wait, I think if you look closely, you can see people doing Tai Chi.
We made it to Gent! Door knocker for Milds!
Mr. Malone pounding it out!
A church in the town.
And my ripped shoe. (I have had to start wearing my pink and purple sneakers because now my pinkie toes sometimes pop out and rip them more. And these are my fancy shoes, they need to last me. Otherwise, my sneakers or my purple local slippers are going to become my fancy shoes and there is no way that is happening!
Doesn't this building look communist!
Really, really pretty town. I liked it a lot!
And everything is in Dutch! I literally know how to say one word in Dutch, welcome, because they say it the same way as we do in English. (At this point, I speak more Czech than Dutch!)
Um.... what is this?
This is made of paper.
Cool, yeah? Cakes!
We ate lunch at the restaurant on the corner. It was really good! We had Flemish stew I think? That stuff was thick and it seemed like the meat had been stewing for a week. Um.. yes please!
Here's the food! Beef stew, stewed apples, and fries!
An a chocolate.
A neat castle.
Do you see the name of the store in the middle?
These were interesting to say the least. Mr. Malone bought a bag for us... apparently they are good for three weeks... I am not sure if I could eat them all in three weeks. Hopefully they are freezer friendly because those were not the most delicious candies that I have ever tried. But they were a pretty color!
Marisa do you see? They are really into promoting movies really early here.
My cousin's roommate in Liberia's family...whoa.... own this apparently. Cool.
And then this. What the heck! All these kids were chanting, then grabbed their throats and fell to the ground. Obviously, it was a demonstration but for what... we'll never know! They handed us a flyer but it was in Dutch.
Overall it was a really fun day in Gent. The city was really cute and it was fun to spend it with the Malone peeps! We hopped back in the car to head back to Brussels. It took a while with traffic, getting caught in an Arabic wedding motorcade, and of course, with the sights of large Brussel sprout statues, who wouldn't be distracted.
We grabbed dinner at an... shoot again... irish? pup and headed back. My train was leaving the next day around noon. Caroline and I talked and watched Mad Men... I miss it already... and went to sleep really late. I ate a a bunch of Belgian chocolate.
The next morning, I packed up my bag...sad, and headed off to church with the Malone's. Their church is big and really international! It was cool, instead of the pastor saying people from different countries, he would say different continents, because really, there are people from everywhere, it's nuts. The service was nice, it was great to sing songs that I knew and actually go to church!
After that we headed to the gare and they dropped me off. Great few days in Belgium. Great to see old friends. Great to hang out with Caroline. I finally finished The Reason for God on the train in spite of the loud child and his father playing battleship behind me in French. I wanted to die, but I guess it was a test. The book was really amazing. Recommend it to all.
Brandon and I are off to Prague... coming up next. A+